Under ethical egoism, the students were right in engaging in ways of ascertaining their admission into the business schools. It was out of their self perpetuation; they could not afford to sit around meanwhile their applications were denied. It saved time and also saved them the emotional upheavals of a rejection. Each one used their usernames and personal identification numbers and viewed their own results thus did not harm any student nor any institution personnel.
They however had a short sight in terms of the institutions’ reaction; the institutions like to keep their affairs secret and any outlet of this information is frowned upon. This would lead to the conclusion that the students did not think their actions through, in that in satisfying their desires, they were causing detrimental aftershocks on themselves. The institutions cite ethics but it is more of their thinking and deliberations being found out by the subjects; students.
An egoist would have done the same as the students; he would have the same instructions, the same urge to know whether the application was an exercise in futility and actually put the plan into place of knowing his fate. What he would not do however is exchange short term joys for long terms woes as the students did i.e. they did not consider that despite not caring about the institutions reaction, they were jeopardizing their chances of admission. They got their wishes eventually, those who were selected knew and those who failed knew but they were in the same boat; they were all denied places in the institutions.
Under utilitarianism the students had no balance as to all possible outcomes based on their action on the institutions’ websites hence unethical. They were only concerned for their application and even did not think that they would be exposing themselves to the institutions’ authorities as being dishonest by using their usernames and personal identification numbers. They did not pause and think of the source of this information; it was an anonymous notification thus it clearly showed that the information handed was unauthorized. They did not think of the reaction of the institutions after they find out that their deliberations are in the public domain. They were poor in judgment.
A utilitarian would balance every situation; for and against the action and subsequent actions then choose the one that will be of moderate benefit to all. If all parties are accommodated then a utilitarian would be fine, if not a problem is bound to happen. In this case the problem was non-admission for the students who had gained admission but chose back door ways of confirming their slots. If they were so itching to know their fate, they could have used an alias to log in and check via the proper channels of hacking and leave the authorities no evidence as to their actions. It would have saved the successful applicants admission to the schools.
For a deontology view, the students were absolutely wrong in accessing unauthorized official communication. There was a reason as to why the page was restricted; the institution has to be properly and efficiently ran. Not everyone should have a say as to the admission or not of students; that is why they post letters confirming the slot or regretting. The students had their usernames and passwords but they had to modify the URLs to suit the restricted pages, that is hacking and explanations as to their using of legitimate information does not hold as they were not intended to be used on the pages visited.
A deontologist would view these actions in black and white regardless of the outcome or action. There were rules, the pages were restricted to unauthorized individuals e.g. prospective students and these same individuals decided to access the information nonetheless. It was a clear violation of the morality involved; the prospective students shall not meddle in the affairs of the institutions till they are duly admitted as members of the institutions.